Spain Landscapes 2019 explores how the wine industry in the country can become more sustainable for businesses, consumers and the natural environment

Sustainability has been in the headlines a lot over the past year, and Wine Intelligence has been taking a close look about how sustainability efforts, both by trade and consumers, are affecting the wine industry worldwide. We have recently published the Global SOLA: Opportunities in sustainable, organic and lower alcohol wines 2019 reports as well as the market-specific SOLA reports focusing on the UK, US, Sweden, Canada and Australia. We now see this theme of sustainability continue in our recent publication of the Spain Landscapes 2019 report, which is the first report update since 2017.

As one trade interviewee stated: “The wine industry in Spain needs three types of sustainability: sustainability of prices so that the business is profitable, moderation of the consumer when it comes to drinking alcohol and sustainability in terms of practices in the vineyard.” It is clear sustainability is at the top of mind for both the trade and consumers, and we are starting to see these seeds of sustainability pop up throughout the Spanish wine market.

  1. Sustainability of prices

Spain Landscapes 2019 shows that the volume of wine consumption continues to decrease slightly; however, the value remains relatively stable as consumers are willing to pay a little more for informal consumption at home. In addition, the proportion of regular wine consumers who drink wine at least once a month in the on-trade has increased significantly since 2019 compared with 2018. Trade interviewees have also discussed how the economic situation of the average regular wine consumer has improved, and they are more optimistic about the consumption of wine.

  1. Moderation of consumption

We also see that four out of 10 wine consumers are moderating their alcohol consumption. This trend, which is also occurring in other mature European markets such as Germany, Ireland and the UK, presents a challenge for the Spanish wine industry. If consumers look more at the ABV on the label rather than the winery, brand, or varietal, how can we appeal to these consumers? We must think about why they are looking to moderate their drinking – is it that they are merely looking for health benefits, to better appreciate the taste of wine or to consume fewer calories?

  1. Sustainability in the vineyard

And finally, we see that more than half of regular wine consumers in Spain know that there is an offer of organic wines. According to the government, at least 11% of the vineyards in Spain are ecological (the official term used for environmentally friendly wines in Spain) and we can confirm that at least one in five wine consumers have tried sustainable wine within the last six months. Our 2019 global SOLA wine opportunity index ranks ecological wine as the highest opportunity amongst Spanish regular wine drinkers, followed by sustainably produced wine.

These seeds of sustainability may still be small in the Spanish wine market, but they are steps that are desperately needed.

The Spain Landscapes 2019 report also provides much more information about how the market is developing and how we can make the market more sustainable for businesses, consumers and the natural environment.

Author: Juan Park, Director for Spain and South America

Email: Juan@wineintelligence.com

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